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Category: Jeeping

Lava Tube Caving at El Malpais National Monument

Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit
Friday & Saturday, May 27-28, 2022

The first time Diane and I visited El Malpais National Monument we knew that we wanted to explore some of the lava tube caves in the park, but at that time all the roads were snow-covered and muddy and the caves were closed, so we figured we would have come back during a warmer part of the year to check them out. Of course, the next time we visited El Malpais it happened to be during the first few months of the COVID pandemic, and by then all the caves had been closed due to that, so as I started planning this alternate trip I was happy to learn that El Malpais had just recently reopened two caves, after all of them being closed for over two years, and I knew that this was finally going to be our opportunity to check them out!

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Rock Art of Canyon del Muerto & Chinle Wash

A Return to Canyon de Chelly National Monument: Back on the Four Corners Circuit
Monday, May 23, 2022

After spending most of Sunday in Mesa Verde National Park it was time to spend some quality time looking at rock art and ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. About six years ago Diane and I had stopped to check out all of the overlooks along the rim of the canyons in the Monument and also hiked down to the White House Ruins, so this time we wanted to get into the canyons for a closer look. That meant we would have to book a tour with a Navajo guide. About a week before the trip I set up a five hour tour with Beauty Way Jeep Tours for 8:00am that would mostly focus on Canyon del Muerto and we were looking forward to finally getting into the canyon!

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Bears Ears to Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients

Alternate Plans: Back on the Four Corners Circuit | Cedar Mesa Chronicles: Chapter 6
Friday & Saturday, May 20-21, 2022

This upcoming week Diane was going to be out of school and was looking forward to getting away for her Spring Break, so for the past few months I had been planning a week-long trip for us to visit the Jemez Mountains and Bandelier National Monument near Santa Fe. Unfortunately, the large Cerro Pelado Wildfire ended up closing both Bandelier National Monument and the Santa Fe National Forest before our trip, so I was forced to come up with Alternate Plans for the week and decided to return to the Four Corners area. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule a trip to the Jemez Mountains another time in the future since we were both looking forward to it!

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Final Trails in Dinosaur National Monument

Friday – Sunday, April 29 – May 1, 2022

It has been almost exactly one year since I started working towards my goal of finishing all of the ‘official trails‘ within Dinosaur National Monument that I had not hiked yet, and this weekend I planned to head back so I could finally complete it. Although the two trails left on my list probably wouldn’t be considered official trails by most people, I guess I’m a completist when it comes to hiking and thought they were important enough to be included. Plus, they would bring me into new parts of the park I had not explored yet, which is always an added bonus. However, they each also happened to be located on completely opposite ends of the park, so I’d have to cover a lot of ground this weekend! I left a little early from work on Friday afternoon and drove over Douglas Pass as I made my way to Island Park on the Utah side of Dinosaurland to get my weekend started.

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Salt Wash: Lost Spring Canyon to Cordova Canyon

Arches National Park | Saturday, April 23, 2022

Recently I realized that it’s been a while since I last explored the backcountry of Arches National Park and I was definitely overdue for a return. After a winter hike down Lower Salt Wash Canyon a couple years ago I’ve been interested in exploring the upper reaches of Salt Wash and a recent Trip Report from Dennis finally gave me the motivation I needed to get back out to that area. I was all set to leave after work on Friday afternoon like I usually do, but a storm system was moving through the area with very strong winds and rain, so I decided to stay home overnight and then leave early in the morning since I wasn’t travelling far from home this weekend. After a good night of sleep I woke up early on Saturday morning, grabbed a quick breakfast and headed west into Utah.

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